Of Cultural Significance
Of Historical Interest
Skopelos town was declared a Traditional Settlement of Outstanding Beauty in 1978 by presidential decree and you will see why if you take the opportunity to really explore the village. Built on the steep hillsides ascending from the waterfront, the streets are cobbled and narrow and many of them are stepped, which means that a large part of the town is only accessible by foot or by mule. This, in turn creates a sense of peace and timelessness which enhances the simplicity of the vernacular architecture. Many of the houses are built in Pelion style and have old grey slate roofs and wooden balconies. Flowers and shrubs abound, so there are splashes of bright colour and beguiling scents of jasmine and honeysuckle on just about every corner.
Another thing to marvel at is how many tiny chapels you will see - estimated to be a grand total of 123! The oldest and most scenic neighbourhood is that nestling underneath the town's fortress (Kastro). Take the steep steps at the very end of the waterfront and, climbing up, you will see the series of most photographed churches which feature in every brochure or website of the island, the most beautiful of which is Evangelismos with its enchanting fresco of the Virgin Mary. The steps will take you to the remains of the Venetian fortress which was built upon the ancient Acropolis of the island.
Palouki is the mountain that looms quite majestically over the port and town of Skopelos village. Here you will find three of the island's most interesting and historic monasteries: Evaggelistria (18th century), Prodromos (17th century) and Metamorphosis (16th century). Each of the monasteries has its own special beauty and interest and, needless to say, each has superb views amid unspoilt nature. The whole area is protected and hunting is forbidden, so wildlife, both flora and fauna abound. If you wish to see inside the monasteries, you will need to visit in the morning or late afternoon hours. If you are a keen walker, it is possible to walk to all three in a few hours, mainly using mule tracks.
One of Skopelos` most fascinating and mysterious sites, Sendoukia is located on Mount Delphi, which is the island's highest peak and, unless you are an intrepid hiker, you will need you own car or motorbike to get here. From town, follow the road signs for the tiny (and very pretty) countryside hamlet of Karia. Go on from Karia and follow the signs for Sendoukia and Delphi. Once at the junction for the rough turnoff to the top of Delphi, you will need to park and the remaining distance (20 minutes walk) is on foot. The route is an extremely scenic one, climbing up through pine forest first of all, before opening out onto more rocky terrain dotted with scrub and low trees. From here the path is marked with red blobs of paint which need to be followed carefully. Once at Sendoukia, you will be amazed to find several tombs which have been perfectly carved out of pure rock, with massive stone lids next to each grave. No one is quite sure when the tombs were made and whose bodies they held - they may be early Roman or even Neolithic - but it is certain that they were for very important people as the location with its panoramic views across the sea to Alonissos, Evia and even to Halkidiki on the clearest days, is second to none.
In the small port village of Loutraki there are several sites with ruins and remains from the ancient city of Selinounda. On the waterfront you will find very interesting information boards about the sites, which include Roman baths and a temple.
In Panormos you can see the remains of walls of the ancient city that once existed there on the hill behind the main strip of hotels and tavernas on the road, approximately halfway along.